By Jim Hoft
During the 2020 election cycle Dr. Shiva Ayyarurai discovered that Twitter has built a special portal offered to certain governmental entities so that government officials can flag and delete content they dislike for any reason, as part of what they call “Twitter Partner Status.”
But there is now evidence that Twitter is not the only tech giant engaging in this type of coordinated behavior to silence, censor, and discriminate against conservative voices.
We have found similar privileges given to Democrat government entities by the operatives at YouTube and Facebook.
Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who invented email, ran for US Senate in Massachusetts as a Republican and made allegations of voter fraud on Twitter. These tweets were then deleted by the far-left tech giant. Later it was discovered that they were deleted at the direction of government employees of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office.
Discovering this, Dr. Ayyadurai filed a federal lawsuit by himself, alleging that his federal civil rights were violated when the government silenced his political speech in order to affect an election.
Federal Judge Mark L. Wolf, a 1985 Reagan Appointee, set a hearing on pending motions for May 20, 2021 at 9:30AM EST. His court orders make it quite clear he is taking this case seriously and the court is highlighting several relevant cases that should give Twitter and its Big Tech bully buddies some pause.
By quoting these two cases, legal observers note, the judge is signaling that Twitter’s days of claiming it is a private company so as to avoid it’s clear oppression of conservative speech, banning scores of conservative journalists, and promotion of liberal views, may be coming to a close end:
Manhattan Cmty. Access Corp. v. Halleck, 139 S. Ct. 1921, 1928 (2019)
“A private entity can qualify as a state actor in a few limited circumstances-including, for example, … when the government compels the private entity to take a particular action…”
Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1004 (1982)
“a State normally can be held responsible for a private decision only when it has exercised coercive power or has provided such significant encouragement, either overt or covert, that the choice must in law be deemed to be that of the State”
This case could spell the end of CDA 230.
CDA 230 is the provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that gives internet and social media companies legal immunity from lawsuits due to the content they publish.
This provision in law gives companies like Facebook and Twitter a way to dismiss lawsuits, but it also gives them the ability to act with impunity so that their actions cannot be legally challenged. These companies have, according to their detractors, abused this immunity by suppressing dissident, and specifically conservative, views, viewpoints and journalism.
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Because Dr. Ayyadurai did not argue about Twitter’s “Terms of Service” everything will instead hinge on the degree of interaction between Twitter and the state government of Massachusetts.